I am flying over the area where my family’s cabin is located, but all of the leaves are brown, because of climate change, even though it is summer.
I was in a group of several young women (and was younger than I am now) traveling in a boat without a rigid hull that kept shifting shape and taking on water. I had a camera with a telephoto lens that I was having a lot of trouble keeping dry.
We stopped at a small island, and were diving in shallow water just off the shoreline near a pier for starfish and conch. As the tide started to go out, we thought we’d be able to gather more from the now revealed sea bottom, but we found everything exposed was dead and decaying.
We realized the sea had been bringing fresh live creatures near the shoreline when the waters came in from the deep, but when those waters receded, the lifeless sand at the foundation of the shore was revealed. It smelled like shit with streaks of brown, black, and gray.
We were able to get our failing boat to a bigger island and catch a plane. As the plane headed out, we flew low over the islands (which I thought of as the Bahamas). You could see the islands had been reduced to piles of sand because of storms and development. You could see how the islands had been dredged and reshaped to create “driveways” for boats to reach the houses of the wealthy. But now the houses were abandoned and the waterways among them were filled with stagnant brown water.
One of the young women asked why the water was brown now instead of the clear blue in which we had been diving. I answered (back to my current age) because they are full of shit, from the boats emptying their waste directly into the water.
We flew over island after island, silently, bearing witness to the devastation. The people were gone. There was no greenery. The waters were stagnant between the various islands. Eventually, the plane ascended, and we flew away feeling a sense of impending doom.
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